Tribunal finds sacking of eight aviation security command officers unfair

Tribunal finds sacking of eight aviation security command officers unfair
December 01 17:50 2015

The employment tribunal has ordered the defence ministry to reinstate eight aviation security officers who were sacked in May.

The government had cited loss of confidence in dismissing the eight officers, but the tribunal said they were dismissed without due process and said that the government was unable to prove how they were a threat to national security.

The officers, speaking to the Maldives Independent in May, said they were dismissed because of their political views. All eight are members of the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party.

The fired officers had served between 13 and 26 years at the aviation security command.

They include the head of security for Koodoo Domestic Airport, head of administration, head of cargo unit, head of human resources, supervisor of the Malé international airport’s international terminal, two outpost duty officers and a driver.

They were sacked at a time of heightened tension, soon after a historic antigovernment protest by the MDP over the imprisonment of former President Mohamed Nasheed.

The employment tribunal’s verdict read: “The Civil Service Commission was unable to prove what the plaintiff did or planned to do that caused him to be untrustworthy.”

The tribunal ordered the CSC to reinstate the officers within 15 days and compensate them for losses.

Several civil service employees and staff at state owned enterprises have been fired this year for their political leanings despite the Civil Service Act allowing government employees to engage in political activities.

Former employees of the Maldives Customs Service, Maldives Ports Limited, Maldives Water and Sewerage Company, Fenaka Corporation and Maldives Industrial Fisheries Company have been sacked in the ongoing political crisis this year.

The MDP has set up a help desk to provide legal support to employees who have been dismissed for their political views.

At a press conference today MDP said a total of 17 former state employees have asked for help since May.